Red Knight Travels to South Africa for Soccer

Sam Thomas

South Africa is set to host the 2010 World Cup this June, and while most people will be sitting in their living rooms watching the games, freshman varsity girls’ soccer player Haley Jerabek will experience these games directly from the stadium seats. Jerabek’s main reason for being in South Africa is not to watch the games, but to attend a select soccer training camp along with seven other boys and girls from the U.S.

Eight girls were chosen to attend a World Cup Soccer Camp in Pretoria, South Africa, sponsored by Coca-Cola. “We have two coaches from the U.S. going with us, and then the rest of the kids at the camp will be selected players from other countries from around the world,” said Jerabek.

The selection process for the players that will get to attend the camp was completed online. “I sent in an application which was based on education, leadership roles, and soccer,” said Jerabek.

Jerabek and the seven other U.S. players plan to leave for Pretoria on June 15, during the middle of the professional World Cup tournament. “I think that the best part of the trip will be [attending] a World Cup game [that will be] played right in front of us,” said Jerabek.

The camp aims to improve players’ skills and promote the idea of soccer being an international sport. “I really hope to gain the experience of playing with other kids from around the world,” said Jerabek. “I’m a little bit nervous, but it’ll be cool to play with people of different countries and cultures.”

As the eight players return to the U.S. on June 20, they will come back with the experience of playing with kids from around the world, not to mention watching the best international soccer players compete.